What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

Silver Rail

How Buildings Learn/ The Ryrie Building/Silver Rail

How Buildings Learn/ The Ryrie Building/Silver RailThe N/E corner of Yonge and Shuter in 1913. The Ryrie Building (1891) is seen before the
additions that extended the structure south to the corner and the addition of another floor.
How Buildings Learn/ The Ryrie Building/Silver Rail
Architects drawing showing the proposed changes.
How Buildings Learn/ The Ryrie Building/Silver Rail
The realization. Not quite as decorative as the plan.
How Buildings Learn/ The Ryrie Building/Silver Rail
A few years later.
How Buildings Learn/ The Ryrie Building/Silver Rail
Sometime in the 1930’s when Muirhead’s Grill occupied the S/E corner.
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How Buildings Learn/ The Ryrie Building/Silver Rail
The 1950’s when the Silver Rail occupied the space. The cornice is
already gone at this point.
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How Buildings Learn/ The Ryrie Building/Silver Rail
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The Silver Rail Revisited


The Silver Rail Tavern and Restaurant was located at the N/E corner of Yonge and Shuter and closed in 1997.
Another postcard from Chuckman’s collection showing the restaurant that was located in the basement. There are several other postings on this site about the Silver Rail. Use the search box to find.
I was there the night it closed and was one of the last to leave. I also managed to buy two of the wall sconces the next week at the fixture sale.
1980’s.

Muirhead’s Grill/The Silver Rail

Muirhead's Grill/The Silver RailA postcard of Muirhead’s Grill before the Silver Rail took over the space.
Muirhead's Grill/The Silver Rail
Another postcard showing the Silver Rail Bar (upstairs) and the more formal restaurant in the basement.

Silver Rail Update

Silver Rail Update

The same building at Yonge and Shuter today…..

The Silver Rail

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The Silver Rail first opened in 1947 and was the first bar in Toronto with a liquor licence from the LCBO. A grand New York style bar on the ground floor and a very respectable restaurant in the basement.

Always favourite of mine, we were there the night it closed in 1997. It’s been replaced by a rather boring clothing store. I did go to the auction after it closed and bought a couple of light fixtures that are now stored in my basement. The best Manhattan in the city.

From the historical plaque:
The Silver Rail was one of Toronto’s first licensed cocktail lounges. It has remained at the same location on Yonge Street since April 2, 1947. Curious Torontonians would ride the streetcar along Yonge Street to catch a glimpse of patrons lined up, waiting to enter. For the first time in Toronto, it was possible for diners to drink a glass of wine or enjoy a cocktail with a fine meal. The interior has remained almost unchanged for 50 years while the face of Yonge Street has changed. The Silver Rail took over the space originally occupied by Muirhead’s Grill and Cafeteria. The interior was designed by architect N.A. Armstrong in 1934. The Silver Rail is an early example of mixed use, incorporating a bar upstairs and a restaurant downstairs. It became a central fixture of downtown Toronto night-life.
During subway construction.

The Silver RailThe Silver Rail